Paul continues relating his concern for the Thessalonian church in 2:17-3:13. Though he wanted to see them, Satan kept him from that (2:17-20), so he sent Timothy to help them persevere through persecution (3:1-5). Though Paul knew he would be persecuted (he told the Thessalonians that would happen, vv. 3-4), as new believers the Thessalonians’ faith was not as strong as Paul’s. Consequently, through their trial of persecution Satan sought to tempt the Thessalonians to turn away from Christ (v. 5).
Timothy returned to Paul and reported that they were doing well, which greatly encouraged him as he prayed constantly for them (vv. 6-13).
Truths to Nail Down and Meditate On
- Christ’s coming is the anticipation and goal of Christian living (2:19). Christian, you cannot make final evaluations or judgments based on life in a sin-cursed, Christ-hating world! You must, through God’s Word, look ahead to when you stand before the Lord Jesus Christ at his coming!
- Jesus uses Christians to help Christians be stabilized and grow in the faith (3:1-5, 10). Every Christian has this responsibility and every Christian as part of the body is essential for this end. Care for your brothers and sisters by encouraging and exhorting them every day!
- Prayer is essential to life and ministry (3:11-13). Prayer is an essential means God has ordered through which his purposes are accomplished. This is why the church and faithful gospel ministers must devote themselves to prayer (Acts 2:42; 6:4)! The church does not fight a spiritual battle with material weapons (2 Cor 10:3-4) but the armor of God (Eph 6:11-20).